1st and 2nd XI reports - 4th July 2015

County Division 4 North – Steeple Langford 1st XI v Hurstbourne Priors

Steeple Langford 1st XI fell to their second successive defeat after a below-par batting display at home to Hurstbourne Priors. Put into bat on a lovely batting track, the home side soon found themselves at 13 for 2 before Andy Bennett and Chris Mundy steadied the ship with a stand of 52. Bennett was then out LBW for 22 and Tom Dennis then joined Mundy and they put on 55 before Dennis fell for 28. They then lost 2 more quick wickets, including Mundy for 42, to leave themselves in a precarious position at 124 for 6 and after a couple of quick cameo innings were left at 156 for 9. Gary Smith and Liam Harvey then shared a last wicket stand of 32 to get the score to a slightly more respectable 188 before Smith was out for 24 with 1 over left. The pick of the away team bowlers were Hamson with 4 for 25 and Budd taking 3 for 36. On a decent batting surface and quick outfield, Langford knew this was really 70 runs short of the expected score so needed to take early wickets. However, despite bowling well , luck wasn’t on their side and the opening pair of Nautiyal and Bayliss put on 110 before Bayliss was bowled for a far from convincing 46. Nautiyal on the other hand continued his rich vein of form for Hurstbourne Priors and was punishing any loose bowling and despite losing a further 4 wickets he saw his side home with an over to spare, ending on an excellent unbeaten 98. The pick of the Langford bowlers were Andy Bennett 2 for 53 and Nick Partridge who bowled much better than his 1 for 39 from 10 overs suggests. Langford can take some comfort from a decent bowling and fielding display but need to return to their earlier good batting form as soon as possible.

STEEPLE LANGFORD II v OT’s & ROMSEY V

For once Rob Emm won the toss for Langford and decided to bat on what was a rock hard pitch, bobbly outfield and boiling hot day. Bouyed by his change of fortune he also opted to open the batting and having scraped around like an old chicken for the first few overs eventually managed to anchor the top order scoring 34. Most of the batsman made good starts (Chris Miles 20, Raj Kumar 17, Matt Pieterse 21, Darren Harvey 32) but it was the returning Adam Dhanji who stole the show batting well with the tail for an unbeaten 62. Further helped by a good score from extras, Langford’s innings finished on 250 for 8 with the Romsey players looking shattered by three and bit hours in the sun.

With a big score to chase down, Romsey’s opener took to swinging from pretty much the first ball and amassed a quick fire 27 before a yorker from Chris Miles saw him on his way. This brought 12 year old Hamsphire youth team player Trodd to the crease who followed up on his three wicket haul when bowling with a controlled 52. Langford’s bowling stuck well to the task despite the match ball having been pretty much demolished by the hard pitch. Darren Harvey opted to take the pace off this week and bowled a controlled spell ending with 2 for 44 while Matt Pieterse came on to mop up the tail taking 4 for 21. For a long part of the 2nd innings Romsey weren’t too far behind the run rate but were eventually bowled out for 198 in the 40th over.

It was good to get back to winning ways to balance up the wins and the losses across the season. A very long day in the sun but very satisfying to come home with maximum points.